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I posted this in another thread but wanted to post this again. Many fans complain about the play of the defensive backs, but they need to realize it is not the players' fault. Torin Harris has probably been the most talked about player on the defensive due to his play. I just want other fans have to realize you cannot blame the players.
I think fans need to realize that this will be the fifth defensive back coach that Torin Harris will have in five years at USC. He has had Rocky Seto in 2009, Willie Mack Garza in 2010, Monte Kiffin/ Sammy Knight after Garza resigned before the season in 2011 and Marvin Sanders in 2012. I know he has not played well but due to injuries and coaching he has never been given a proper chance. Most of the defensive back play can be linked to this. The lack of a consistent position coach has hurt. It takes months for a player to adjust to a coach, after he leaves there is another adjustment period.
Players like Anthony Brown, Ryan Henderson, and Demetrius Wright along with the players who have graduated last season like Brian Baucham, T.J. McDonald, Drew McAllister, and Jawanza Starling have had almost a different position coach every season.
I am not saying the players are not responsible, but before fans say negative things about the players they need to look at the situation.
Torin Harris is the perfect example, five position coaches in five years. How can a player learn when he has a different coach each season? Each coach has a different style. Clancy Pendergast hopefully can help the defensive backs.
Hopefully for players like Chris Hawkins, Su'a Cravens, and Leon McQuay III they will get the chance that these players did not and play with Clancy Pendergast.
I don't know. Not saying you're wrong but the LB's have had 3 coaches in 4 years. Robert Woods had 3 WR coaches in his 3 years.
Traveler, I agree with you when it comes to not dissing the players, but how do you explain the stellar play of Nickell Robey when he went through those same coaching changes?
I had different math, English and science teachers every year. No problems there. I would think that you would learn more with exposure to different coaches.
What do you think happens when they have a new coach that causes them to perform poorly? Are all five db coaches teaching something completely different?
I can not agree.
What I see happening is that with the exception of Robey, we've recruited and signed players to play DB that peaked in high school and/or were just flat out over-rated. We had the guy that stepped in 2 years ago (blanking on his name) and did a great job for us, but then couldn't get himself eligible last year. The other guys we brought in were just flat out not good enough to be standouts while playing Pac-12 level football.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by cstory80 13 months ago
Presuming not one taught the players to TURN AND LOOK FOR THE EFFIN' BALL!
Exactly what I was gonna post!
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That was the Juco transfer Wiley, he could really come up and tackle, stopping the sweeps, decent but not super on coverage. He was a key to Monte's defensive scheme.
This cuz thats been all of the DBs biggest problem, no one the past few seasons has been an exception! (Hope I worded that right)
I've always been a Torin supporter & will continue to do so! His biggest problem was/is finding the ball cuz as far as cover skills go, he was better than Robey & anyone else on the roster last yr!! Sometimes a better pass beats good coverage & for whatever damn reason that seems to be the case with Torin more times than not... I'd like to see him at 100% cuz if there is one thing that has hampered his improvement is the fact that he's always hurt!! Not sure how he's been doing so far, or anyone else for that matter, since there's no actual footage, aside from a few clips here & there but if healthy & playing a more "aggressive" defense (assuming more press, which is where he's best) he'll be the best cover corner!! I will add though, that I wish they teach ALL the DBs how to properly look & play the ball (when their bacsk are turned) cuz in the past few years that's been the secondaries biggest flaw, Torin being the most noticeable...
On another note, I like what I've been hearing from DJ at WR! If he works on his speed & getting off press coverage, which I've always said he wasn't great at dating back to HS, he's gonna be a problem!
This! Not the best cover corner but fit in pretty damn good in Monte's scheme! What up pops!
Hey Goons. missed ya' ...
Things are really good for me, thanks.
I hope all is well for you too.
He was better than any other CB (with the exception of Robey) that has seen time for us over the last 3 years.
This post was edited by cstory80 13 months ago
Remind me again, but why was Sammy Knight let go by Kiffin?? Anyways, there is something to change over at DB coaching spot as a reason for the poor play BUT I think it is a very small part of it.
Maybe it is just the players. I would expect a kid at an FCS school to have issues in coverage due to his lack of ball skills, body control or mental toughness etc. But not at a D1 school and especially not at USC.
Maybe there was too much emphasis by the coaching staff placed on the t shirt FB played (7v7) or Sparq rating etc and not enough on what was actually done with a helmet and shoulder pads when some the current CB(not Hawkins) were recruited?
I didn't see this thread.
I posted this in the other thread:
After playing in one of the top CFB programs in the country for this long, I just can't give this excuse any weight. It takes months to adjust to a position coaching change?! The DC, I can understand, but if the scheme doesn't change, the position coach at CB isn't going to take months to adjust to. Do you realize how much turnover there is for position coaches at major CFB programs every year? If your team wins games, those guys are always moving on and picking up promotions.
The guy has been given plenty of proper chances and IMO, too many.
I don't want to seem like I'm trying to pile on, but have you watched the guy play?
I would have a difficult time finding any film where he didn't look completely lost when the ball was thrown his way. I cringe when I see him lined up out there, because I cannot remember anything good coming from it and it often results in a big play or points for the other team.
Nickell Robey is a year younger, has much less appealing physical measureables and they are probably pretty close in their combine type numbers. Robey was better the day he stepped on campus, with a year less in CFB and that gap only got wider, with the same coaching over the three years they were teammates.
To me, CB is a position that requires much less thought or reliance on scheme than any other position on a defense. In other words, I think coaching has less of an impact on a player being at least serviceable at CB than any other position.
By the time last season started, I was already to the point where I just wanted Seymour out there, instead of Harris, because if someone is going to get torched at CB, it might as well be a young guy getting experience. I already knew what Harris had to offer.
Torin clearly does not have the instincts to be effective on this level or the next.
All of these guys are great athletes, but the ones with the great instincts are the ones that are great CBs. You can't coach that and Torin just doesn't have it.
It's OK to say that a player just doesn't have it. He is still a guy that has never been in trouble, never had grade issues and never been in any other kind of trouble that I can remember. These are all great things, but he is what he is, when he's on the field.
Some is on the kids, some on the coaching. Monte is a fantastic DC, but I just think he's not an especially good fit for the college game. He seemed to struggle when dealing with read/option type teams, and I think his scheme was probably too complex for college-level athletes who have to also attend class, etc., in addition to their time on the field, in the film room, in the weight room and so on.
Pete has commented that what he's doing with the Seahawks' cornerbacks is what he had always hoped to do at USC. He wanted to make USC Cornerback U, but it wasn't possible because the kids simply weren't ready and didn't have the time to grasp and work on anything too complex. So he simplified things. I think Monte tried to simplify in the last year but it was too little too late by then.
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Take this rant somewhere else fucker!
On a side note, CB is the hardest position to play outside of QB & with today's rules it is only harder!! I'll add that having different coaches yearly does affect ur game to a certain extent pending on how much the coaches emphasize their techniques but I wouldn't make that an excuse for Torin not any other DB on the roster the past few years! As I stated earlier, his biggest setback has always been his health!
This post was edited by Goons 13 months ago
Yeah, but how many coaches helped you get to that 2500th post?
Unless he has a chronic stiff neck and broken hands, I'm gonna chalk it up to lack of instinct to play the position at this level.
Good to see you back!
I don't think I have disagreed more with a post. Sometimes guys just aren't very good. Harris is the softest CB we have. The true weakness in having so much change at the DB coaching position has been the lack of recruiting really good CB's. Robey was a Monte Kiffin find. Otherwise, all the DB coaches have missed on the Southern CB's they were recruiting. I blame Kiff on some of this because he fired Marvin Sanders the day after Ramsey came in. He should've let Sanders recruit whoever he wanted. Otherwise, Baucham was not very good either, and we've suffered from not getting very many DB's in each class. Seymour better be the best CB ever, because he was also the only CB who was rated highly we recruited last year.
Perfectly stated. It came down to our guys not being good enough to excel at the level of football that is played in the Pac-12.
I think Monte Kiffin was one big problem with the DB's. His scheme actually worked AGAINST the natural instincts of players. Aside from Robey, everyone else was in a perpetual backpedal, zone handoffs were unclear, and the mantra was to get as deep as possible as quickly as possible.
Having said that, I think both the returning players in the secondary as well as the ones who just departed collectively spell "average" in terms of talent. Or more specifically, on-field performance.
Robey was good, if undersized. TMac was a big hitter but not really a good cover safety. Starling was a good-looking athlete but a so-so player. Bauchum was not much of anything. McAllister was hurt constantly. At his best, a solid player.
Now, look at the returning "veterans" in the program. Torin Harris? Seemingly knows how to cover a WR but can't make a play on the ball to save his life. Anthony Brown is another small guy who just looks average to me-- he could easily be an Oregon State or Colorado DB rather than a USC kid-- though I will say in camp he's looking good right now. Ryan Henderson is not a USC-level CB. Demetrius Wright is another good-looking athlete who has been prone to mental errors in his brief playing time over the years. Josh Shaw? Solid, pretty good instincts. Great? No. Solid.
You want to talk about great talent, you have to look towards the young guys in the program. Cravens. McQuay. Seymour. Hawkins. Heck, I even like Ryan Dillard. Devian Shelton? A project. Might be more of a safety prospect than a CB, but we'll see. But those first four guys have elite potential. They have a chance to make us forget about anyone who's played in our secondary in recent years.
In short... an ill-fitting scheme combined with decent (but far short of great) talent = average-to-poor results. That can all change going forward with Pendergast and the new kids stepping into the equation.
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I think the lack of a position coach has hurt the recruitment of cornerbacks and safeties. Also, the scholarship limitations have hurt USC in getting players. Despite this I still feel the instability of the coaching and defense have the development of the players more than anything. I ham not saying the players are playing perfectly, but they are not the main reason for the struggle. The quality of the players is good. I would still take the USC cornerbacks and safeties over any other school. USC has five sar players. They are not the problem, it is developing the players. I feel players could have played better in a defense that fit their strengths. The players are playing less aggressive on defense and trying to prevent the big play. Torrin Harris if you watch the games is covering the wide receiver and not the ball, due to the defense. He does not want to get beat on a deep pass. The players are trying to prevent the big play and giving the offense room to get yards.Tackling is a problem, but not properly covering the player is bad. On many plays USC leaves a wide receiver open to cover a 3rd down and 12 yards, they give him 8 yards by not covering him, and he gets the other yards for the first down on missed tackles. The quality of the players is not the reason. The same fans who hype the players during their recruiting, are criticizing them now. It is unfair to the players.
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